Lands of Bronze and Fire - An American Domestication Timeline, Take Two

OH MY GOD IT'S BACK I'M SO EXCITED

As for banners, how are you sure they'll be popular? Flags were mostly just a thing in a few parts of the Old World like Europe and the Middle East, spawning Eddie Izzard's "Do you have a flag?" joke.

In Mesoamerica, the signs and standards used in battle and ceremony were physical constructions of feathers and cloth-covered lightweight wicker rather than drawing its likeness on a strip of cloth. The Mendoza Codex has examples. Over in the Andes, the Inca had the closest things to what we'd call flags, including one for the nation itself (well, if you count the Sapa Inca and his family as being the nation). Its construction though was a stiff, firmly stretched square on a pole, similar to a vexillum but made not to wave.

One way to make an easy banner might be a sort of Y-shaped flag staff (that is, the pole forking apart in some way to form a frame), with the banner in between that space. Of course it's also possible we could have no flags at all with physical emblems taking their place, like the Roman aquila.

There's so many ways this could go...what we have to find out is, why did Old World flags evolve the way they did? How did a long waving cloth on a heavy pole take over fixed signs and more visible vexilla?
 
OH MY GOD IT'S BACK I'M SO EXCITED

As for banners, how are you sure they'll be popular? Flags were mostly just a thing in a few parts of the Old World like Europe and the Middle East, spawning Eddie Izzard's "Do you have a flag?" joke.

In Mesoamerica, the signs and standards used in battle and ceremony were physical constructions of feathers and cloth-covered lightweight wicker rather than drawing its likeness on a strip of cloth. The Mendoza Codex has examples. Over in the Andes, the Inca had the closest things to what we'd call flags, including one for the nation itself (well, if you count the Sapa Inca and his family as being the nation). Its construction though was a stiff, firmly stretched square on a pole, similar to a vexillum but made not to wave.

One way to make an easy banner might be a sort of Y-shaped flag staff (that is, the pole forking apart in some way to form a frame), with the banner in between that space. Of course it's also possible we could have no flags at all with physical emblems taking their place, like the Roman aquila.

There's so many ways this could go...what we have to find out is, why did Old World flags evolve the way they did? How did a long waving cloth on a heavy pole take over fixed signs and more visible vexilla?

Weren't banners and other heraldry also common in feudal Japan? I will say it's doubtful that flags as such will develop in Hesperidia, but I think that in places with a number of independent states, the ability to consistently visually define one's place of origin will become important. :)
 
Sort of yeah, but I think they were firmly fixed to the poles instead of waving around. And carried on their back too. So I guess it was like some combination of Inca and Aztec banner styles if you think about it. According to Wikipedia various shapes were used as well, so there's that.

I'm sure a lot of cultures will have pictorial representations of their rulers, army company, or even nation, but putting that into a piece of cloth or even hide and creating a royal/battle standard is another thing.

Perhaps the means in which people identify themselves can be just as important as the identifications themselves.
 
In OTL heraldry was a big thing and held deep spiritual connotations. They would appear in shield designs and tilmas, to banners of feathers and ribbons (which could symbolize a specific deity).
 
Sort of yeah, but I think they were firmly fixed to the poles instead of waving around. And carried on their back too. So I guess it was like some combination of Inca and Aztec banner styles if you think about it. According to Wikipedia various shapes were used as well, so there's that.

I'm sure a lot of cultures will have pictorial representations of their rulers, army company, or even nation, but putting that into a piece of cloth or even hide and creating a royal/battle standard is another thing.

Perhaps the means in which people identify themselves can be just as important as the identifications themselves.

Ah indeed, thank you for the clarification. I do imagine of course that free-flapping banners might not develop anywhere in Hesperidia (or at least in Columbia, depending on when the Tawantinsuyu 'flag' tradition started) but something closer to the Japanese or OTL Mesoamerican styles could arise in a place or two.

In OTL heraldry was a big thing and held deep spiritual connotations. They would appear in shield designs and tilmas, to banners of feathers and ribbons (which could symbolize a specific deity).

Well, I can surely say that in Petsiroò the spiritual dimension will play an immense role in all the symbology that arises there.
 
VII. The First Renewed Period
The First Renewed Period (1200 - 600 BCE)
From "A Primer on the Renewed Period of Columbia: Volume One" by Thomas Liebknecht, Imperial University of Augsburg Press, 1998

OQmzqLT.png

Despite a shift to the western coast, the interior deserts of Tuuwaya would be a critical area in the First Renewed Period, as was the case in the preceding Formative. [1]

The cultural effect of the Formative Collapse upon the people of Columbia is one which is not commonly explored, and which is difficult to explain to anyone whose roots do not lay in that great continent. Even existing as it does at the very oldest, hazy extremity of remembered history, the scars of the 70% - 80% population loss in the west's towns and cities have left an indelible mark upon the folk tales, philosophy, and religions which rose from the ashes of the devastation. Even the great plagues in the prelude to the 16th Century did not match the relative level of devastation of the Collapse--and yet, remarkably, the great cities rose again, marking the beginning of a continuous continental history that would proceed all the way to the present. This renaissance has been marked by Western historiography as the Renewed Period, a time in which the continent's west and south rebuilt, and first disseminated their crucial innovations across old barriers, leaving new societies wherever they landed.

It is typical to separate this broad swathe of time, between the misty Formative and the much-explored Classic periods, into two halves: the First Renewed Period, spanning from the Collapse to a smaller chaotic period typically considered to have occurred around 600 BCE with the disintegration of the first great Diné kingdom, and the first plains-rider invasions of what would become the Kanitaabe Nemeni [2] lands in later centuries; and the Second Renewed Period, from about 600 to 200 BCE, a more established stage which saw the rise of many of the western Columbian states which existed at the time of European contact. The two volumes of this textbook overview for the Imperial University will be split between these two epochs, and will, the author hopes, provide a useful guide to this fascinating but often overlooked span of time in Columbia's history.


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Chapter One: Will discuss Petsiroò in this period, up to the first Great Scorpion War and the demise of the South-Wind Empire in 622 BCE.

Chapter Two: Will explore what we currently know of the central and western Tuuwaya at this time, including the beginnings of the Tahéjoca state in the Gulf of Quijhant [3].

Chapter Three: Will cover Isthmocolumbian developments in this period, such as the first burgeoning cities in the Teneka Valley [4], the rebirth of the Nivdavay, the surviving Epi-Otopa culture, and the Maya [5].

Chapter Four: Will attempt to elucidate upon the birth of the first civilizations of Columbia's Panthalassic coast, including the crucial domestication of the water-pig [6].

Chapter Five: Will dispel some myths regarding the plains-riders east of the Alinta Mountains [7] and their establishment in the Nabototo River Valley [8].


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[1] - Picture is from Wikimedia Commons.

[2] - The Nemeni were mentioned momentarily before, in this post. 'Kanitaabe', oddly enough, is not really the name of the country (not natively at least, in Europe it's become conflated), but the term for the throne or palace in general, similar to how IOTL the Ottoman state was sometimes called the Sublime Porte. It means 'House of the Sun'.

[3] - I may need to refresh a couple of geographic terms here. This is the Gulf of California.

[4] - The Valley of Mexico.

[5] - I note with amusement, probably not for the first time--finally a name that stays the same!

[6] - A Californian Ice Age survivor, though not a very exotic-seeming one--take a guess.

[7] - The Rocky Mountains.

[8] - The Mississippi.


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Herr Professor Liebknecht necessarily views things through a Eurocentric perspective, but we'll be hearing from the Columbians themselves (and perhaps some other non-Europeans as well) in between the chapters demarcated above.

Hopefully this has offered enough juicy hints and details to give you an idea of what I'm planning through this next time period. Hope to have the first update, on Petsiroò, up before Monday. :)
 
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Nice update, can't wait for more :)

The California tapir, huh? Interesting to see how they could get domesticated, tapirs don't typically fit the requirements.
 
Nice to see this timeline still around. Well thought out and an uncommon subject. Not that I do't find them interesting, but seeing timeline after timeline about the later Byzantine Empire, the CSA or other frequently appearing subjects just doesn't get the blood boiling.
 
Nice update, can't wait for more :)

The California tapir, huh? Interesting to see how they could get domesticated, tapirs don't typically fit the requirements.

Not quite. I considered Tapirus californicus briefly in the genesis of the timeline, but ITTL, as in OTL, they have not survived to the Holocene. :)
 
Just found this, and I am quite pleased with it. I can't wait to see what sort of technological development Columbians reach by the time of European contact.
 
Just found this, and I am quite pleased with it. I can't wait to see what sort of technological development Columbians reach by the time of European contact.

As a sneak-preview of sorts, since I've already mentioned it in one of the two story threads or maybe the first discussion threads, they will already have relatively complex metallurgy and sailing technology by the 15th Century.

There are a few other tech and scientific innovations that will be achieved by then as well, but those I will not spoil. ;)
 
Not quite. I considered Tapirus californicus briefly in the genesis of the timeline, but ITTL, as in OTL, they have not survived to the Holocene. :)

I'm hoping for the shrub ox.

Not sure WHY I like them so much, I just like the idea of a cow-goat-musk ox for some reason. Never used them because I felt my enthusiasm wouldn't be shared.
 
I'm hoping for the shrub ox.

Not sure WHY I like them so much, I just like the idea of a cow-goat-musk ox for some reason. Never used them because I felt my enthusiasm wouldn't be shared.

That's not the Californian beastie, but you never know where our oviboninine friends will pop up. ;)
 
VIII. Winds of Change
Winds of Change: Petsiroò's Long Recovery
From "A Primer on the Renewed Period of Columbia: Volume One" by Thomas Liebknecht

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[1]

Once the dust of the Formative Collapse had settled, civilization in the once densely-populated plains and crags of Petsiroò was faced with the intimidating prospect of a hard reset on its civic structures, trade, and spiritual life. Its rising to this challenge would begin within a startlingly short time of the last burnings and plagues, though not from the same walls and mountaintops as before. Where the south of Petsiroò was peripheral to the Tseroro civilization, in the Renewed Period its rivers' banks would give birth to great empires and religions which would shape the face of the whole continent in the centuries to come.

Where Tseroro and other Formative cities sprouted in the high, relatively cool mountains of the southern Duuye plateau, the south of Petsiroò was hotter and more humid, and interlaced with a greater number of rivers whose fresh water would prove an invaluable asset for refugees fleeing into the region during the chaos. The ability to quickly resume the growth of maize, squash, and beans along irrigated channels and river banks stopped the tide of death in a way which should not be underestimated. The survivors from the hill cultures brought agricultural and metallurgical expertise which was new to the lowland cities, forming a new caste of uplander tradespeople. This would create tensions with the likewise new class of native peasants. The baby boom which began in the mid 12th Century BCE and ended about 1000 BCE forced a growing lower-class population onto more and more crowded (and limited) stretches of farmland. The small landowning caste, descended from the simple family groups which first settled on the land, would control the destinies of the new peasantry for many centuries to come. Despite this arrangement causing the increasing impoverishment of the peasant class, the peasants would come to blame the foreigners for their exclusion from the rich city life. This conflict would come to define much of the internal life of the new cities and states.

Over all of this presided a new civic authority that held roots in the old order, or at least claimed to, in the form of the Sages, who in this period still held secular as well as ecclesiastical power in Petsiroò [2]. The extinction of the old nobility in the cataclysms of the past century meant that it would fall to these religious leaders both to preside over the rise of these powerful cities, and to shape the early customs and beliefs of the Black Hand religion that arose at about this time.

The hand emblem for which Black Hand is named is of course still found in all the modern descendants of this tradition. In nearly all cases its symbolism is understood to be that of the hand of the revered ancestors, who dwell in the After-Time, a misty realm considered at once to be beyond the mortal coil and in the distant future where the strife and struggles of human existence have been ended. In ancient Petsiroò, as is still the case in many modern religions, the Will of these ancestors was considered the foremost mandate in life, the upkeeping of which was necessary to safely arrive in the After-Time oneself. What exactly this Will was supposed to be has, of course, been regarded differently at different times and places. The Sages were the ultimate arbiters of the matter in Renewed Petsiroò. Many of these early religious leaders are still clearly remembered today, though their lives have been heavily mythologized, and there is serious scholarly doubt as to whether some of them ever lived at all. Prominent among them are the good and just Nolo of Tseázhi, and Hastaazhin I of Tsahkiin, whose code of ethics would form the governing moral and legal philosophy of the future South-Wind Empire. With time, the stewardship of the Sages in these lands would erode and be replaced by that of kings, but while they still ruled, the map of Petsiroò as we know it began to take shape.


WAtjFYn.png

The rivers and major cities of Petsiroò, 1100 BCE.

The first recorded war in Petsiroò began either in 1078 or 1077 BCE between the powerful southern cities of Tsahkiin and Tóbeel who each led a coalition of their smaller allies in a feud over farming territory in the rich river soils between their heartlands. This First Ashih-hi [3] War was a narrow victory for larger Tsahkiin, which held the edge again in the Second and Third wars (around 1020 and 946, respectively), the last of which spread all along the Ashih-hi watershed and involved a hundred cities in all. Somewhat uninvolved in the long feud was the more northerly state of Atsadzhil, which at the time was extending its control along the river's northern banks, and its tributaries to the north. More and more of the rich copper-mining country fell under the city's grasp, enabling its rapid conquest first of Tseázhi, and then of Lhiitsézh, one of the few northern towns which was still occupied at this time. The southern cities, whose own most talented metal-crafters (as members of the uplander caste) had been mostly expelled in a series of native-encouraged pogroms through the 11th and early 10th Centuries BCE, felt themselves under growing threat from the well-equipped legions of Atsadzhil, whose warriors undertook occasional raids into the northern hinterlands of the squabbling cities.

Once the end of the last of the Ashih-hi Wars was a generation past, at the beginning of the 9th Century BCE, Tsohkiin and Tóbeel were prepared to do what was once unthinkable: to join forces against the growing threat of Atsadzhil in a powerful new alliance, which would blow over the Petsiroan lands like a great southern wind. The Sages of the two cities agreed upon a neutral party to head the new alliance in the person of a powerful landowner from the river lands between the cities, a member of what would come to be known as the Scorpion clan. In the August of 878 BCE, he rose to power as So-Tsoh I of the new South-Wind Empire, the first ruling monarch in Petsiroò since the Collapse. The king would prove an able leader, showing an aptitude for playing the internal factions of his new realm against one another in his drive to centralize power away from the independent landlords. Making his court in Tsohkiin [4], he directed the united armies of the Empire in a concerted campagin against the southern frontiers of Atsadzhili territory, even threatening their capital with outposts on the opposite bank of the Ashih-hi River. This first expansionary period of the South-Wind Empire ended about 850 when So-Tsoh I was ageing, and became more interested in consolidating his power, bringing Hasbidi at the western end of the Petsiroan world under his control by peaceful means.

After his death in 846 or 845, the Empire struck north of the river again, making headway despite Atsadzhil's technological advantage by virtue of its superior manpower. It seized first the eastern stretch of Atsadzhil's holdings, forcing the Atsadzhili armies westward before finally capturing the city itself in 832 BCE. The Battle of Atsadzhil is of course much celebrated in song and epic poetry, but the semi-mythical personages and events are well-known and need not be belabored here. Suffice it to say that the city's holdings collapsed one after another with the conquest, Imperial armies mopping them up as they went and re-imposing order. The Imperial frontier had reached Lhiitsézh by around 800 BCE and would remain there for about 175 years.

The peaceful years of the early 8th Century BCE turned more eventful when a new threat began to encroach upon the Empire's eastern marches, not from another city but from the vast and apparently empty lands east of Petsiroò. A few eastern cities were ransacked, the infantry-based levies of the Petsiroan warleaders unable to deal with the curious sight of men riding on uurung-back--the camelids, up to this point, had been used only for meat, wool, and sometimes draft work, since the somewhat scrawny animals of the city were no good for riding. Nevertheless, faced with further devastation, the Empire adapted quickly once it managed to catch some of these bigger, plains uurung, crossbreeding them with local animals and eventually fielding their own cavalry to counter the eastern raiders. Although Imperial forces did not range far to the east in repelling the plains-riders, they did set into motion a great migration on the plains which would have monumental effects on the history of lands to the east.

In Petsiroò itself, meanwhile, the Empire employed the new riding-uurung breed in peacetime use as well as in combat, building new road networks spanning its territory, some of which are still in use today. The ability to range farther and conquer further inspired a dangerous sense of overconfidence in the palace at Tsohkiin, it seems, once which would inspire the last great campaign of the South-Wind Empire in 627 BCE. An invasion of the sparsely-populated Duuye highlands to the north reached as far as the Great Bitter Lake [5] with some limited successes, subjugating many of the young cities of the plateau, but taxed the structural capabilities of the Empire. A particularly bad harvest was the tipping point in the Imperial lands, causing first a famine and then a consequent outbreak of disease which struck down the King and plunged the densely-populated cities into chaos. The Scorpion clan which had held the royal household for 250 years by now had roots in many outlying cities, and plenty of contenders for the throne rose up, fragmenting the Empire in 622 BCE and marking the beginning of the First Great Scorpion War...


j4pVh5U.jpg

Saguaro flatlands of the type common in southern Petsiroò. [6]


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[1] - Picture credit: cs.arizona.edu.

[2] - There isn't necessarily any hard evidence that the Sages' rise to power had anything to do with the old system of governance in Petsiroò, but there wasn't much room for opposition.

[3] - The Ashih-hi River being the Gila River.

[4] - The two cities which formed the Empire were considered dual capitals in theory, but in practice the larger and more powerful city of Tsohkiin was where most of the real decision-making happened.

[5] - The Great Salt Lake, *Utah.

[6] - Picture credit: adventure-journal.com.
 
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